KEYPOINTS FROM ARTICLE:
- Today, many organizations have started realizing the benefits of engaging experts in their IT operations.
- Cost is the primary concern to hiring experts as they come with a high price tag on a full-time basis.
- There are two different kinds of MSPs, Managed and Co-Managed, with Co-Managed being more of an augmented staffing approach.
- As Technology and Security continue to evolve, the need for experts is paramount to success.
- Managed Providers pretty much handle everything, while Co-Managed fill in gaps and provide expert solutions where necessary.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
Could they be the solution you’ve been looking for?
Today, many organizations have started realizing the benefits of engaging experts in their IT operations.
And then they see the cost.
This is exactly why Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have begun to thrive, offering expert level services at a fraction of the cost. Because let’s face it, every business faces ongoing IT questions like when to manage some or all IT services or projects in-house and when to outsource them.
Maybe a company is facing a new challenge, like safeguarding against next-gen threats or deploying an entirely new tech stack. Maybe vast growth makes small IT problems bigger, or maybe the issue is an IT manager leaving suddenly, and the company is left scrambling. Possibly the issue is difficulty finding the right talent locally, or to save money, even possibly just a push for more efficiency.
As technologies and threats evolve, how you manage IT resources matters more and more.
In this article, we explain why and when businesses should be thinking about IT management, and when and why hiring a Managed Service Provider (MSP) makes sense.
If any of this is ringing true, the answer may be to consider outsourcing a part of the project (Co-managed), or all of it (Managed), to what’s called a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
So, what Is a Managed Service Provider? Is that the same as Co-Managed?
Let’s get to the bottom of it.
MSPs for IT Support
Historically, MSPs are companies that provide outsourced IT services to businesses. These services can range from offering light support as needed to installing and running new workflows and scalable systems ongoing. They can even help by leading technical buildouts as companies grow and move into new facilities.
The trend of MSPs to handle more than just IT support is becoming more and more common and can include several services that are managed beyond IT Support, examples include Security (MSSP), Back and Disaster Recovery (DRaaS), Telephony, Migration (MaaS), and much more. However, the main reasons companies hire someone to manage services are for IT support and to manage security. These are said to currently make up nearly 80%-90% of the MSP market.
Regardless, a business can hire an MSP to provide help with one task that they would prefer not to be handled in-house, like data backup or disaster recovery, or they can outsource to an MSP to run their entire IT infrastructure.
Co-Managed Service Providers then don’t replace your IT solution, they will analyze the effort, then fill in the gaps and “augment” your existing solution.
By hiring a Managed or Co-Managed Service Provider (MSP), companies can quickly bridge the gap in the IT support and services department, and deliver the high demand for high-performance, fast-moving, and stable business technology. MSPs have become game changers in many organizations, and the following some of the most significant benefits they bring to your business.
If one thing always remains true, it’s that IT Support and Cybersecurity are a constant struggle. Just when you think you have everything solved, another threat or issue emerges. And all of this is on top of trying to run your business in the niche you’re in, which is typically more than enough to fill a weeks’ worth of work. These new threats keep popping up, deeming previous point solutions as ineffective. And the cybersecurity skills shortage makes it difficult to recruit and retain top talent—especially with the increasing salaries required to be competitive.
Managed Service Providers for Security (MSSP)
Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) are IT security providers that monitor, maintain, and manage security 24×7. Some organizations outsource all their security functions to MSSPs, while others use a provider to supplement their in-house capabilities and bridge gaps.
Managed security services are an increasingly popular option for a simple reason: They provide an affordable, subscription-based security model because when you outsource all (Managed) or most (Co-Managed) of your security, you don’t need to own and manage security tools in-house because the MSSP handles the hardware and software updates, the system optimization, and the ongoing management of those resources. The MSSP provides its own analysts, which means you don’t have to hire and train your own security personnel.
In regard to hiring an MSSP, clients can expect these experts to:
- Relieve the pressures of security alert fatigue
- Provide ongoing security information and event management
- Alleviate the struggle to find qualified security analysts
- Greatly lessen overall hardware and maintenance costs.
MSSPs can bring value to your security posture, but only if they fill a gap in your existing infosec ecosystem — something that’s difficult to assess without the ability to independently evaluate the capabilities of the vendor.
On top of that, a lack of control over the vendor’s security portfolio and processes creates risks, especially when it comes to data privacy and compliance. Although it’s the MSSP’s job to protect you from data breaches, you’re the one who’ll be liable if your customer data becomes exposed and you find yourself not in compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.
To sum it all, you need to consider hiring a reputable Managed Service Provider to ensure that your IT infrastructure is in the right hands. This will give a business more time to focus on growth and stability while receiving the best advice from a highly resilient team.
As an alternative, many companies are now considering Managed and Co-managed Service Providers, as they find out hiring one expert in-house is prohibitively expensive.
Criteria by which to determine who and what you need
The question remains, which of these scenarios are most viable for YOUR organization? How do YOU choose the option that best meets YOUR business needs? What criteria should be followed to make a good decision, knowing it will accomplish what was intended, and at a price that YOU find acceptable?
1. Cost saving and easier Budgeting
Most small and medium businesses are finding it very expensive to employ competent IT personnel to run their IT operations. However, outsourcing the services not only cuts down those costs but also provides predictable monthly costs to cover the entire service. Therefore, using MSP, you can make solid procurement to cover the entire service. Good MSPs have regulated it down per person, billing at fixed monthly rates per user, resulting in a solution that’s easily scalable in both directions as deemed necessary.
2. Access to the Experts
With managed services from a reputable firm, even small organizations can access highly qualified personnel without doing the hard work of recruiting them and coughing up the large pay necessary to keep them on staff. Additionally, teams from an MSP usually possess a wide range experience in the field of IT, therefore giving your business the best services. In our case, we are also Telecom experts, specializing in Unified Communications and Microsoft Teams Telephony/Collaboration.
3. Proactive Support and Quick Response time
The service providers are specialized and dedicated 100% to the task of your IT systems. Therefore, they can offer a quick and timely response in case of a performance drop in your system or failure. They are experienced on an enterprise level and commonly have faced the same issues time and time again, allowing them to quickly implement best-in-class solutions.
4. Ready infrastructure
Codes are used to configure Cloud infrastructure. In-house developers can take months to develop the codes from scratch to configure all the applications of an organization. However, MSPs have libraries of such codes ready. Only a little tweaking is done to fit the client’s individual requirements. This means MSPs can deploy solutions much quicker saving a lot of time and money for a business. Beyond road mapping and network architecture diagramming, the integration and migration aspects have been proven and tested before hearing of your particular issues.
5. Better Business Focus
Managed services help to take off stress from the entrepreneurs giving them peace of mind. With the IT infrastructure issues handled by experts, they can focus on the business core competencies and strategies. We take away all the technology questions and analysis, leaving you in the position of focusing on your business, not the technology.
When to Hire an MSP?
As we’ve learned, managed service providers, or MSPs, are companies that offer various types of outsourced services to small and medium-sized companies that are cutting down costs, experiencing rapid expansion, and/or looking to strengthen its IT capabilities.
The best managed service providers are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to cater to clients’ day-to-day IT support needs. But when should you consider hiring an MSPs? Not surprisingly, it depends on a lot of things.
Outsourced IT services are, often, hired by small to medium-sized businesses that are trying to cut costs, experiencing rapid expansion, or bolstering its IT needs. Having an in-house IT team isn’t a barrier for you to consider hiring managed IT services. In fact, they should complement each other.
Think of your in-house IT department as your day-to-day IT support provider while your managed IT service provider can work on more complex IT functions like backup and disaster recovery measures, network management, cybersecurity measures, data management services, as well as server management just to name a few.
Obviously, if you don’t have any IT support, then it’s a really good time to hire an MSP to come handle all of your technology. However, if you find yourself falling behind or being unable to provide the expertise necessary, then it’s a good time to consider a Co-Managed MSP, to come in and fill the gaps, augmenting your existing group or team.
We would be more than happy to talk to you about these services, see if you need either a Managed or Co-Managed Service Provider and to determine if any of the other managed services might be beneficial to your organization. Call us at 888-603-1033 to setup a no obligation meeting, or click here to schedule a specific meeting time, using our Calendly account.